How many '08 Obama fans imagined their critic of overwrought militarism would 1) refuse to dispute militarism as universal strategy, or 2) outdo Bush, Cheney and perhaps McCain? If massive civilian drone deaths ever get recorded with the precision of drone strikes, won't historians indict this program as state-sanctioned terrorism?
Whatever a president does . . .
If running top-down, private wars sum up Obama's critique of the military over-reach that elected him, then he's either a phony, a hypocrite, or lacks all memory. Do not unlegislated drone strikes evoke Nixon's heinous dictum that whatever a president does must be legal? And absent Congressional outrage by still nuttier zealots, no legal challenges will matter until long after Obama has moved on.
Nothing driving American Pragmatism blindly elevates "whatever works," as in "whatever you can get away with," even "whatever looks good to befuddled masses." If any more, like-minded "pragmatists" (read: ruthless neo-cons) slink into power, a valuable American philosophy, not unlike evolution that's rejected by 46% of us, will be dumped on the ash heap.
If drones gratuitously wipe out suspects listed by some warlord, why not also hunt up terrorist ghouls, gremlins, and trolls? Now we're talking hideous creatures that distill what alien, foreign and dangerous mean. If a former liberal-critic of indefensible militarism readily goes to the dark side, so far with modest electoral payoffs, the mind reels: what will the "severely conservative," hardhearted, Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney deliver?
Romney certainly knows bare-knuckled "pragmatism" first hand, "what works" according to his predator drone capitalism. Does he not assail Obama for insufficient pragmatism, as well-meaning boob unable to make hard decisions? Well, Mitt now contends with a pro-active, pre-emptive unflinching warrior who tragically gets all too many missions accomplished. As millions of sacrificed Iraqis made W. a re-electable "war president," why not a neo-liberal who insists on running his own wars, executing what is, without doubt, devoutly ideological pragmatism. Whatever works, if it works.
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